Temporary security measures at the state Capitol could become permanent

Apr 13, 2017

Rep. Mike Nathe (R-Bismarck).
Credit ND Legislature

A conference committee has reached agreement on the budget bill for the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

Conferees agreed to keep a proposal in that bill for permanent security measures at the state Capitol. Metal detectors were temporarily installed for the 2017 Legislative session because of concerns about Dakota Access Pipeline protests that might have come to the Capitol building.

There's also money in that budget for security guards to carry tasers.

"The people that work in the Capitol deserve a nice, safe environment," said Rep. Mike Nathe (R-Bismarck), a members of the conference committee. "They've been through a lot over the past year. And they and their families need to know they're safe."

Nathe said unfortunately, times are changing.

"North Dakota is no different rom any other community," Nathe said. "We need to protect our citizens."

One entrance of the Capitol will be open to the public – the south entrance. The others will be accessible only with a “key card.”

It’s a Senate bill – so that chamber will get the first look at it.